Southeast Alaska’s weekend heat breaks records

String of warm days is expected to end this week

The sun sets behind downtown Juneau on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. The capital city has enjoyed a full week of 70-degree temperatures. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Boats and trailers lined the launch ramps, residents thronged the beaches, plastic ducks bobbed in Twin Lakes, and Juneau basked under the sun on a record-breaking weekend.

 

The capital city has had a full week of temperatures at or above 70 degrees, and the weekend brought the warmest days of the year so far.

Saturday’s high temperature of 81 degrees beat the old record of 80, set in 2009, and is the hottest day of the year to date. Sunday’s high was 78, beating the 1999 record of 75.

Those temperatures were recorded at the airport, Juneau’s official measuring station, and conditions elsewhere were even warmer, according to the National Weather Service office here.

On Saturday, temperatures reached 88 at Lena Point, 85 at Sheep Camp, 83 in the Mendenhall Valley and 82 at the base of Eaglecrest.

All of those measurements paled compared to Skagway.

On Saturday, temperatures at the Skagway airport reached 93 degrees, the highest temperature ever recorded in Skagway, where records have been kept at various locations since 1898. That mark was the second-highest in Alaska this year.

It was the first 90-degree day in Skagway since 2004. Juneau has only had one 90-degree day in its history; it hit 90 at the airport on one July day in 1975.

Over the past 70 years, Juneau has averaged 19 70-degree days per year, according to NOAA climate data. As of the end of Sunday, there have been 10 so far this year.

Juneau also averages two 80-degree days per year. Saturday was the first such day this year.

The record warmth appears to be at an end, according to National Weather Service forecasters here.

With marine stratus clouds covering the capital city, temperatures are not expected to climb far above 70 degrees this week (if at all). The sun will break through from time to time, forecasters wrote in a Monday briefing, but skies will not be as clear as they were over the weekend.

No significant rainfall is expected until later this week or on the weekend, when a storm moves in from the Gulf of Alaska. That storm may bring choppy seas, just in time for the annual Golden North Salmon Derby.

 


 

Contact reporter James Brooks at james.k.brooks@juneauempire.com or call 523-2258.

 


 

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